Why Is My Daughter So Judgmental?

I had a conversation with a friend the other day. She recounted comments her daughter made about an incident that took place in our church a while back. What was disconcerting to my friend was the judgmental tone her daughter took; in essence asking the question “How could someone do that?”

At that moment I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was reminded about the way my husband and I raised our own son. We home-schooled and the responsibility for choosing curriculum fell to me because I was the teacher. Each year I selected academic resources to accommodate my child’s strengths and weaknesses. I then carefully chose bible studies and Christian growth programs I thought would instruct him in his Christian walk. All those years, I was intent on raising a morally upright Christian. I believed teaching appropriate outward behavior was of supreme importance and would assure us of producing a godly young man. I was more concerned with the appearance of Christianity. At the time, I believed I was doing the best I could with what I knew, but this kind of moralistic parenting is frightening, crushing, and void of Jesus and the freedom and grace he died to bring us. Then I understand why my friend’s daughter was reacting the way she did to the incident in our church. Could it be that her daughter received the same messages my son had?

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The Good Good News

Boy, do we need grace and peace in our lives! Are you like me? Do you feel rushed and overwhelmed, forgetting details because your mind is overflowing with everything on the “to do list?” It seems that everywhere I turn, people are feeling the same way–there’s too much to do and too little time to do it. Not to mention our disordered priorities; the things that need to get done, don’t–we’re too distracted with the mundane and insignificant details of daily life.

My husband and I recently experienced this as we traveled over a long weekend to visit family. We both remarked at the end of our trip, “we had left God at home”. Of course, that is not possible! One of my favorite names for God is Immanuel, God with us. So while I know the God is always with us, it played out differently on our trip. All the planned activities for the weekend took over. We found ourselves letting lesser things get in the way. What should have been a priority had been relegated to the bottom of the list! Does that happen to you? Do you intend to have a morning devotion time, but instead oversleep? Do you plan on purposeful meal time, ushered in with prayer, but instead the meal time turns into a rushed “drive-thru” dinner? Does your weekday evening schedule mean no time for prayers with your spouse or children?

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Injustice And Justice Meet At The Cross

I came to faith at age forty. I remember how I longed to experience everything my new Christian life had to offer. I knew God saved me for a purpose. I was not exactly sure what that purpose was, I just knew I was anxious to make my stand for Jesus. I labored to produce the good fruit that I knew would please God. I actually called my stepsister, the only Christian in my family at the time, and asked her if she would join me in evangelizing all of our family members over the course of a thirty-day period. We would divide and conquer–for Jesus! Thankfully, she graciously declined. Evangelizing my family is a good thing; following a checklist and calendar to do it, is not. My burdens were heavy as I sought to live up to my potential as a child of God; I fought for causes and stood my ground, sure that I was right – I had Jesus on my side. Only problem was, everything I was doing wasn’t about the gospel; it wasn’t about loving people. I had lost sight of the One who took the only “right” stand. I missed the One who truly stands for justice, because he is Justice himself. In my pursuit to make my case and argue for the defenseless, to be an advocate, I left out the One Pure Advocate: Jesus Christ. Jesus has fought every battle, defended every small, weak and defenseless human being, and won all wars, battles, and injustices known to humankind. He is perfect Love, perfect Judge, perfect Mediator, and perfect Defender. He loves with an everlasting love that holds no record of wrongs.

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Healthy People

Healthy People Don’t Need a Doctor

I had a great conversation with a friend a while back. He shared with me what God has been teaching him about resting in the amazing grace and freedom of Christ. He admittedly does not have it all figured out, but as I listened to him my heart burst with joy and gratitude for what God is doing! It’s a big deal when we begin to grasp the freedom and liberty we have in Christ. His comments reveal the gospel taking root in his heart expressing itself in love.

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I Don’t Have My Act Together

I am always in need of a fresh reorientation to the gospel that assures me I am loved and accepted in spite of my weakness. I need help from the outside of myself; when I am left to my own devices, I become inward focused and obsessed with my feelings, my discontent, my weariness, and my inability to handle everything.

My pastor once shared a question he was asked at a leadership conference: “What one word would you use to describe leaders today?” Without hesitation he responded, “Tired.”

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